XXL? Really?

Training ride ten: distance – 1.2 miles

Training ride eleven: distance – 3.8 miles

Training ride twelve: distance – 9.1 miles

Total training miles: 138.1

Days left to challenge: 340

Well autumn has well and truly kicked in. Mornings have been chilly and the days have been wet and windy. As well as testing my resolve to get the bike out it has also made me reconsider what I wear and whether it is time to put away the legs in favour of longer-legged cycling trousers. I happened to have a pair in my wardrobe which I bought before doing LEJOG last year but they were the first thing to get posted home as I realised that in June, no matter how wet it was, it was never going to be cold enough to actually need them and as a result had never been worn in anger.

Having decided the temperature warranted it and squeezed myself into the XL sized trousers (carefully avoiding all mirrors) I was very conscious as I rode that there was a distinct draught on my lower back. A number of things were running through my mind. The first was my Grandma’s words of warning that you should “never let your kidneys get cold Adrian” but the second, and of more of concern, was for the kind motorists who were considerately slowing behind me. There is well known phrase that refers to the rear buttock cleavage of those in the building trade but I was very conscious that I may be forging a new branch. Bikers bum! New trousers required methinks…

So standing at the rail in Sports Direct (I felt dirty but the sports gear is really good value) I eyed the trousers seeking a DOUBLE XL. I know I have already indicated that I am not the slimmest of men but this is the first time I have ever had to buy such a size.

So, to protect my vanity, I have decided that in cycling clothes you should disregard any reference to your normal clothing size and instead understand that all sizes are in relation to what a designer thinks a cyclist should look like. Bradley Wiggins for example is 6ft 3″ tall and apparently weighs just 69kg. Mark Cavendish is just 5ft 10″ and weighs similar. If we can agree that these are the template for a normal (for cyclists) LARGE then I am happy to accept an XXL!

P.S. From my rides above you will see that there are a couple of very short ones. One was a quick trip to the pub and the second a trip to the post office and shops. While I may always have been likely to do the first on foot or by bike the second I would definitely have jumped in the car for. I’m trying to think bike all the time and really enjoying it. Remember every training mile in your legs will count.

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